Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dear Brother Nielsen,

I am certain that Elder Nielsen has shared with you his experience in teaching Luz Maria in Altamirano.  She was baptized yesterday and today confirmed a member of the Church.  I first became acquainted with her last September when I was in Altamirano to take care of some business with the branch.  At the time there were no missionaries serving there.  Altamirano is a long distance from Cuernavaca and it was necessary to spend a couple of nights there.  While there in May I stayed in a rather run-down hotel, but it was supposedly one of Altamirano’s finest.  As I prepared for this trip I felt impressed to look for another hotel.  I did and when I went in September with my assistants we stayed there.  When it was time to find a place to eat I asked the desk clerk at the hotel where she suggested we should eat.  She mentioned two places – one of the them was Luz Maria’s restaurant, “El Caporal.”  It was the closet to the hotel so we chose that one.  The food was excellent – we went back the next morning for breakfast and the next afternoon for dinner.  More than the excellent food was what I felt as I conversed with Luz Maria.  “This is a woman who needs to be taught the gospel.”  The restaurant was crowded with customers and Luz Maria was occupied with all of the tasks of running a very popular place to eat, so it was not an opportune time to teach her.  We said our goodbyes and I told her we would see her again – at some future date.  I felt something about her and I know she felt something about the three of us.

For various reasons, it has been a challenge to maintain missionaries in Altamirano – security issues, and then the hurricane in September – proved challenging.  But I finally made the decision that it was time to assign missionaries there again.  The first missionary I thought of was Elder Nielsen.  He has been given some difficult assignments in the mission and has handled them with faith and courage and diligence.  When I assigned him to Altamirano I told him he had two assignments:

1)    Go eat at El Caporal, and

2)    Baptize Luz Maria

It took a week or two for them to connect once he arrived, but he obeyed and now the story has the desired ending.  But, I am convinced this is not the end of the story.  Luz Maria is a very influential person in the community.  She joined the Church in the face of strong family opposition.  The traditions of Catholicism run very deep in her family.  Luz Maria found the courage to tell her family – and especially her mother – of her decision to join the Church.  This is monumental.  When I saw her in December she was not sure she could retreat from her Catholic roots, but she has now done so.  She is sharing the gospel already with many and no doubt will be a positive influence in changing the course of the Church in this pueblo that so very badly needs the message of the Restoration.  When her colleagues and others learn of her conversion I am confident they will also be willing to listen.

Elder Nielsen was sent to Altamirano to teach and baptize a very special convert.  He has done so with honor and diligence and love and dedication.  You can be very proud of him.  We are!  The Lord works miracles through His missionaries.  This is one of them.

Warm regards,

Presidente Bruce C. Kusch

Misión México Cuernavaca

 "...ahora es el momento en que los miembros y los misioneros se unan, que trabajen juntos, que trabajen en la viña del Señor para traer almas a Él."

 Presidente Thomas S. Monson
Apresurar la Obra de Salvación, 23 de junio de 2013

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